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World's most expensive rough diamond sells for US$63m

[JOHANNESBURG] Lucara Diamond Corp sold an 813-carat jewel for US$63 million, making it the most expensive rough gem on record and raising the prospects for the sale of the Lesedi La Rona, the world's second-biggest such stone that was unearthed last year.

The sale of 'The Constellation' was worth US$77,649 a carat and Lucara will retain a 10 per cent interest in the net profit received in the polished products, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement Monday.

Both diamonds were recovered from Lucara's Karowe mine in Botswana, which is gaining a reputation for producing the world's biggest and best stones. The 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, just smaller than a tennis ball, was the largest diamond discovery for more than 100 years and the stone is second in size only to the Cullinan, cut into the Great Star of Africa gem in the British Crown jewels.

"We look forward to the next stage of Lucara's development with the sale of the spectacular 1,109 carat, Lesedi La Rona diamond," Lucara Chief Executive Officer William Lamb said in the statement.

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The sale will take place at Sotheby's in London on June 29.